Window air conditioners are quite popular today because of their low cost and efficiency.
But the truth is, not everyone knows what a window AC unit is or how it works. Much less what the benefits are of owning one.
So, if you’re asking the question, “What is a window air conditioner?”, this post is for you.
We’ll explain everything you need to know about window AC units as well as the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this type of appliance.
If you’re ready to get your questions answered about what is a window AC unit, just keep reading.
First, What is a Window Air Conditioner?
Believe it or not, window air conditioners are actually the simplest and most basic type of air conditioning unit out there.
In short, window AC units are self-contained, single-unit air conditioners that are mounted inside an open window.
This means that all of the components which enable the air conditioner to function are located within itself. There are no external components to the system. Once it’s installed, it can start cooling right away.
Window AC Units are for Single Rooms
Window air conditioners are different from other types of air conditioners, like whole house units, in the sense that they’re designed to cool only a specific part of your home—usually just a single room.
Window AC units are known to be very good air conditioners that can cool a reasonably sized room quickly.
Granted, factors such as age, the size, and the device’s British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating still play a role in how well your appliance cools a space, but for the most part, window AC units are very effective at making even the hottest room comfortable to be in.
Buying a Window Air Conditioner
If after reading the rest of this post you’re interested in getting a window AC unit for your home, we invite you to check out our top window air conditioner buying guide.
On that page, we go over everything, from price to quality to even how to choose the right size window air conditioner for your needs.
That way you can get a high-quality product without spending more than you have to. So, give it a look.
Second, How Do Window AC Units Work?
Now that you know what a window air conditioner is, “How does it work?” is the next logical question.
Window units come equipped with a double shaft motor that has two fans located on both ends of the motor. One fan is located by the evaporator and the other by the condenser.
The side of the unit with the evaporator faces into the room and is what regulates the indoor temperature.
The side of the unit with the condenser faces outdoors and is what blows hot collected from a room outside.
When the window AC unit is turned on, the blower is what gets the indoor air moving. It sucks in the air from the room and passes it through an air filter.
The air then comes into contact with the evaporating coil which does either one of two things:
- If the temperature in the room is hotter than the coil, then the coil absorbs the heat from the air and colder air is blown back out.
- If the temperature in the room is colder than the coil, dew will begin to form on the surface of the coil, thus helping to remove humidity from the space.
Window Air Conditioners and Thermostats
All window air conditioners come with a thermostat to regulate the temperature of cold air.
Depending on the type of air conditioner that you purchase, the type of thermostat you’ll get will be different.
Lower-end units feature a rotary dial that must be manually adjusted in order to change the cooling temperature. Hitting and exact degree is not possible.
Higher-end units come equipped with digital controls that let you fine-tune the temperature setting, such as 72-degrees. They also include remote controls or mobile apps for added convenience.
Finally, What Are The Benefits Of Using A Windows Air Conditioner?
Now that you know more about what is a window AC unit, you’ll be happy to learn that there are a number of benefits you can enjoy buy owning one.
Those benefits include:
High Energy Efficiency
There are few air conditioners that can match the energy efficiency of window air conditioners.
Many window AC units have great Energy Efficiency Ratios (EER).
EER refers to a unit of measurement which tells you just how much energy your appliance is using to efficiently cool an area.
The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
Window air conditioners are not terribly expensive.
You can get a good quality window AC unit from a reputable brand for just a few hundred dollars or less.
That said, the best part about these devices is that their operating costs are next to nothing; around $20-$30 a month.
Easy To Install
Unlike central air conditioners or other whole-house systems, like ductless mini split air conditioners, which require extensive installation done by an expert HVAC technician, window air conditioners are easy to install.
It’s a fairly straightforward process of just placing the unit inside a window and securing it into place.
Window air conditioners are so simple to install that even a person without much skill can do it. And, if you have any doubts in your abilities, each device comes with a booklet that has step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.
Now, if you like do-it-yourself projects and want to install a window air conditioner in a wall so that you can keep access to your window, you’ll need to buy an alternative model called a “through the wall air conditioner”.
The reason you can’t just cut a hole in the wall and place your window AC unit in there is that these units vent hot air out the sides of the encloser. Putting the unit in a wall would not allow it to work properly.
Through the wall air conditioners look similar to window AC units; however, they vent hot air out the back. So you can install them in a wall. Check out our other post on the best through the wall AC models if this interests you.
Window AC Units are a Great Choice
As you can see, window air conditioners are not too complicated to understand and the benefits they offer you can be quite attractive.
We do hope this post answered all of your questions about, “What is a window air conditioner?”
If you don’t have one of these appliances already, perhaps you’re now considering to use one in your own home. If so, you won’t be disappointed as long as you get the right size AC unit that has all of the features you desire.
The free buying guide we mentioned near the top of this post is a good place to start your comparison shopping.